We’ve all heard about how we need 8 hours of sleep a night, and we’ve all experienced exhaustion after a night where we stayed out too late, but how important is sleep really? If you’re asking this question anytime after 1:00am, first thing’s first. Stop justifying your bad sleeping habits and turn off your phone.
For the rest of you reading this at a normal hour, stick around and level up your knowledge. In this article I’ll cover exactly how integral sleep is to your success.
Although vital to the quality of life, sleep is often overlooked in our current society. All too often, we sacrifice sleep for work, gym life, and of course whatever new noteworthy series Disney+(your favorite streaming service) just put out.
Sleep Impacts Your Overall Success
Whether your primary goals in life are to improve overall fitness, build an entrepreneurial empire, or be the best parent on the face of the planet, sleep is imperative to your success.
Science has shown time and time again how critical a role sleep plays in our overall health, and therefore, our quality of life. Not that we need science to prove it. We’ve all woken up after a night of restlessness and found ourselves more irritable, foggy, you name it.
Some side effects of sleep deprivation you might not be aware of:
- Loss of sex drive. (1)
- Can contribute to depression. (2)
- Ages skin.(3, 4, 5 )
- Negatively impacts memory. (6)
- May lead to weight gain:(7)
To Sleep Or Not To Sleep: The Forgotten (Krebs) Cycle
A large percentage of the American population experience 12-16 hour workdays, every day of the week. And some of them are still scraping by, often too exhausted to see a way out or imagine what their passion might be, let alone pursue it.
That exhaustion is rarely just from working all the time. Recent studies have revealed that only 1 in 3 people in America get the recommended 7 hours of sleep, and 20% suffer from sleep disorders.
Considering the vicious cycle we endure, is it really any surprise?
- We wake up groggy from a night spent either stirring in our sleep or maybe not sleeping at all.
- Drink coffee, 1-3 cups.
- Work until noon. Eat (maybe)
- 2:00pm. Drink coffee, or an energy drink. Probably Bucked Up Energy since that’s the only drink strong enough to get you through the rest of your day.
- After work (if you don’t have a second job to get to), you hit the gym. Sure, you could take Bucked Up Non-Stim with PUMP-OCALYPSE and get a good workout (plus the most ridiculous pump imaginable). But that’s not how our brains work. We go straight for the WOKE AF. Why? Because not only does WOKE AF come equipped with everything for the pump, endurance, and focus, it’s also rounded out with a perfect trifecta of stimulants to give the energy we so desperately need.
- Once the workout is finished, and we’ve had our final meal of the night, we should be more than tired enough to fall asleep the moment our head hits the pillow.
- Right? Wrong (most the time)
- There’s this thing called Cortisol, a stress hormone.
- And then there’s this other thing called Glutamate that kicks in and has us borrowing energy from tomorrow so we’re constantly in energy debt.
- So, what happens? We stay awake stressing over tomorrow, still antsy from all the stimulants — because there’s no crash from WOKE AF, duh.
- Some people might self-medicate with vitamins like melatonin, valerian root, or even marijuana (where it’s legal, of course).
- Others might need to take it a step further and jump to unhealthier options, like alcohol and prescription sleeping pills.
- Once tomorrow morning comes, we wake up groggy. Either from the lack of sleep or from the “medications.” (Don’t act like marijuana can’t cause mental fog in the morning; it might be better than a lot of the other options but it’s not without its flaws)
- The cycle continues…on and on and on.
American Dream Requires Energy.
I won’t try to prescribe a schedule change. You have food to put on the table for your kids. You have gainz to make in the gym. And you have businesses to build. I respect the hell out of you all for the sacrifices you make to grow your life. Or in many cases, just afford a life.
Don’t let those who question your work ethic get you down. This ain’t the 50’s. You can’t work 40 hours a week, making $7 an hour at a department store and afford:
- Two cars to fit in your two-car garage
- College funds for the kids
- Delicious sugary breakfast cereal
We work harder than they ever had to. And live in apartments. With roommates. But this isn’t about how the American Dream became a nightmare. This is about how most of us are too overworked, stressed, and tired to even enjoy a night of quality sleep — some might even welcome a nightmare from time to time.
Energy Requires Sleep
There is one step anyone can make, though. Improve your sleep. I’m not saying sleep more. There’s only so much time in the day.
Think about Arnold. During an interview, where someone asked how he managed to fit all his things into his day (dude had a schedule that’d make most grown men cry) and find sleep, his response was; “Sleep faster.”
As cheeky as always. What I think he meant is that we need better sleep. If you can’t manage 8 hours of sleep every night, the least you can do for your physical, mental, and spiritual (if you’re into that sort of thing) health is to improve the sleep quality during the hours you can afford to spend in bed.
6 hours of deep sleep is more effective for rest and recovery than 8 hours of tossing and turning anyway.
How to Improve Your Quality of Sleep
There are several ways to improve your quality of sleep. One hour prior to going to bed, turn off anything with blue light. This includes Netflix, Kindle, and yes…your phone. Trust me, Instagram will still be there in the morning. As will that email from your boss.
- Read a regular book. One printed on paper. (A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%)
- Take an Epsom salt bath.
- Wear Blue-light filter glasses anytime after 8:00pm.
- This one bears repeating. Turn off your phone. Better yet, don’t even keep it charging in your bedroom (do you really need to get notifications during the “witching” hour?)
- Sip on herbal tea, it’s smooth and calming.
- Don’t drink caffeine within 4-6 hours of sleep
And to truly optimize your bedtime ritual, add in a supplement that actually supports better sleep.
Bucked Up Sleep Support
Enter Sleep Support. It helps the first night. But better than that, it’s not just a quick-fix band-aid. Sleep Support is formulated to help improve the systems responsible for sleep. In other words, it has a compound effect, increasing quality over time.
What’s that formula? Glad you asked.
Vitamin C: An antioxidant powerhouse, Vitamin C is commonly used for immune function. However, its benefits may also extend to sleep. Studies have shown that individuals with low levels of Vitamin C often experience shorter sleep as well as more sleep disturbances. (8) If you’re tired (get it, tired??) of waking every hour of the night, increase those Vitamin C levels.
Thiamin (Vitamin B1): Part of the Vitamin B-Legion, Thiamin can help promote restful sleep.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Vitamin B2 regulates many amino acids, including L-Tryptophan. You might not recognize the name L-Tryptophan, but unless you’re anti-Thanksgiving (or vegan), you have experienced it’s uncanny ability to strongly encourage sleep. This occurs because the body converts L-Tryptophan into serotonin, which is then converted into melatonin — a sleep triggering hormone. In other words, the body needs Vitamin B2 to produce two hormones important to sleep and relaxation.(9)
Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine): Evidence has shown Vitamin B6 aids in the production of melatonin and serotonin.(10) These two hormones are important for sleep quality and mood. Interestingly, B6 also affects our dreams. No, seriously. It can help with lucid dreaming — if you’re into that sort of thing, you hippie.
Magnesium (as Magnesium AAC): Encourages deep, restful sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. It can also help with stress reduction. And as anyone who’s ever laid awake at night — stressing about a deadline tomorrow — knows, reducing stress is critical for “catching Z’s.” (11)
Zinc (as Zinc AAC): A trace element vital to the immune system and a variety of cellular processes in the body, Zinc plays a powerful role in achieving quality sleep. However, many people struggle with sleep due to zinc deficiency. This is typically due to a lack of zinc in the diet. Studies have found supplementing with zinc to be effective in raising zinc levels, in turn, improving quality of sleep and speed of slipping into slumber.(12)
GABA: A neurotransmitter that promotes sleep, supplementing with GABA helps to increase GABA levels.
Lemon Balm (4:1 Extract): Studies have shown that Lemon Balm can induce sleep faster as well as improve overall sleep quality.
Ashwagandha (KSM-66): This supercharged ingredient fights cortisol — the stress hormone — as effectively as McGregor fights cowboys.(13) Not only that, but it also has neuroprotective qualities to protect against oxidative stress in the brain, and promotes restorative sleep.
L-Theanine: Not only can L-Theanine reduce stress and relax the brain due to its ability to increase alpha wave activity, it also has neuroprotective properties.
CBD Powder: If you haven’t jumped on the CBD bandwagon yet, then step up your game. It can help to reduce inflammation, improve relaxation, and allow for a deeper sleep.
Folate (as Magnafolate): As a member of the Vitamin-B team, Folate plays critical roles in sleep, memory, central nervous system, as well as several other functions. When it comes to sleep, never ignore the B’s.
Sleep’s Role In fitness:
In case building muscle, burning fat, and chasing after the perfect physique is your priority and overall quality of life isn’t your cup of chamomile tea, then here’s a fun fact.
Lack of sleep will hinder your fitness goals more than a day off from the gym ever will. This should come as news to absolutely no one, but you don’t build muscle in the gym. You tear down muscle in the gym so that when the muscle protein fibers rebuild they rebuild stronger and larger.
Just like literally any other function in our body, our muscles do their most repairing when resting. In other words, when we sleep.
If you’re going hard on cutting, then it’s even more important. When cutting, we’re often in a nutrient deficit state. As such, our bodies require much more assistance in the recovery process. And unless your primary goal for shredding down is to burn your hormones and build the perfect cocktail for hormonal retribution (which often leads to fat gain), then getting in that sweet R&R is critical to your success. Sleep more. Your abs will thank you.
Up Your Game. Go To Sleep.
I not saying that Sleep Support is the cure-all — energy drinks already have a monopoly on that — but if you value your gainz, in and out of the gym, then sleep should be one of your top priorities.
Head on over to our site via this convenient link (click here, yo) and start taking your sleep seriously. To make it even better, enter code FEB2020 at checkout and enjoy some freebies. ($50 — free sampler, $100– free shirt, and $200 — free duffel bag.)